Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Learning hard lessons...

Ever had those moments when you are reading God's word and you literally feel a "whop" on the side of your head with your Bible.  As I read 1 Samuel 2:3 last night this is exactly how I felt.  I think I could still see the imprint of my Precious Moments angel pin on the side of my head in the morning.  Apparently it was quite a drastic wake-up call I was needing.  Let me step back in my story a little here.

As some of you may remember I have been asking prayers for the date of Annika's surgery to be changed because that is what I knew was best for me and my schedule.  If you were with me when I received the call I am pretty sure my words sounded something like this to the nurse, "Do you have anything earlier, like at the beginning of the week?......No?  Well, that is ok, my God will take care of that because he knows that date just doesn't work for me.  I will be praying about that and my God will get that taken care of!"  OK, that is not exactly what I said, but that was basically the meaning behind my words.  I felt like God would know that I needed more time with her and that I didn't have the time to take off of work so I was just sure that that was something that God would take care of.

Well, I have been praying and praying for this the last few weeks, as I know others have also, and still God has not answered my prayers.  I have been feeling frustrated and I really didn't understand why He was not taking care of this.  It just makes no sense.  Doesn't He know what I need and that I need to be with my daughter and ..... I, I, I.  Did you see all of those "I" statements in my thoughts.  I know you can see right where this is going. 

Last night I was doing my Bible study that I just started (a little plug here for it - Stronger  by Angela Thomas is a fantastic study recommended to me by Lynn). 
I am just on the 2nd day, but it has been very powerful so far.  As I am sitting in bed reading the words I get to this verse, "Do not keep talking so proudly or let your mouth speak such arrogance...."  And there was that "whop!" on the head I needed.  I began to think about my words when I had learned of Annika's surgery date.  I did not "seek first his kingdom and his righteousness" (Matt. 6:33)  I just assumed that God would know that didn't work for me.  Then one of the next verses.....
"My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord (Isaiah 55:8)
It is amazing when the scripture jumps right off the page and speaks to you.  God may as well have just said, "Hey, Blondie, listen up, I know what you have been praying but have you considered that my ways are greater and I have taken all these things into consideration.  I love and care about you so don't worry.  Trust me."  At least that is what I heard in that moment.  But then I thought I was just having full faith in God and what he could do, is that really wrong to boast about?  Well, it is if I am treating God like my puppet who will perform as I see fit in my life.  It is if I don't seek HIS WILL FIRST and pray his will.  Even being arrogant in my faith is wrong and not what God wants from me.  

So, after a lot of prayer time, I am realizing that God has this under control and I need to pray for his will in this situation and have full faith that He can take care of it.  I am praying for the specific Dr.'s and nurses that will be there that day and exactly what Annika needs.  He has greater plans for her than I can even imagine, sometimes I fee like I am just getting in the way.  I hope that you are able to learn a little from my mistakes.  

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Out of the mouth of babes...

As a parent we always worry about our children.  I have been praying for my kids, before I even had them, that they would be protected from the evil around them, know the difference between lies and the truth, and that they would have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I see this growing in Madelynn all the time.  She asks the most amazing questions.  I know why Jesus tells us to come to him as a child, full of questions and wondering and just wanting to know more, this is how we develop a relationship with our Savior.  My niece, Mackenzie, just accepted Jesus as her Savior and is going to be baptized soon, out of obedience, not that it is a magical experience, but that it shows a pictures to those around her that she has made a choice to have Jesus in her heart.  She was able to make this choice on her own, it had nothing to do with her age or any classes, it was because she felt that tugging on her heart and she wanted to have that friendship and loving relationship with Jesus.  
So what about kids who can't make this conscience choice???  I find myself thinking about this more and more lately with all the sweet kids who have come into our lives.  
I know beyond a shadow of doubt that Annika is spoken for and "no one will snatch them out of His hand" (John 10:28).  I have found comfort from the beginning of this journey that I know exactly where she will be for eternity and I will be right there with her.  (A few other verses you might want to check out 2 Sam. 12:39 and John 6:39)  God has this and He is sovereign and and I have faith in His plan.  
Well, this seemed easy enough for me to understand, but it is amazing how little minds work.  One of our sitter's kids, who adores Annika and I am sure loves her very much, had some questions about this.  I guess he was asking his mom about kids like Annika (and our sweet friend Reagan) and about how they go to heaven.  Then he asked about Annika's diagnosis.  Kristen told him that Annika was born with a piece of her 5th chromosome missing.  When she was born this is just how God created her.  "So, Annika will go to heaven no matter what?" said Caleb and Kristen told him YES.  
"So, God just saved a little piece of her until she gets up there?."
Wow, I could not have said it better.  As tears welled in my eyes I realized that is exactly what God had done.  He has that little piece waiting for her until she goes to heaven and gets her perfect, strong, no more throwing up and feeling yucky, heavenly body!  What a beautiful picture of God's plan.
For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies.[a] While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
So we are always confident, even though we know that as long as we live in these bodies we are not at home with the Lord. For we live by believing and not by seeing. Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord. So whether we are here in this body or away from this body, our goal is to please him.10 For we must all stand before Christ to be judged. We will each receive whatever we deserve for the good or evil we have done in this earthly body. ..17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!      2 Corinthians 5:1-10, 17 (NLT)